But America Didn’t Listen

Connor Friedersdorf on how we should have listened to George McGovern, now nearing death:

Over the course of his career, McGovern made a lot of arguments that I personally find unpersuasive. But he sure did get the most important issue of his time right. Think of all the Americans who’d be alive today if the country had listened to McGovern rather than his opponents about the Vietnam War. Think of all the veterans who’d have been better off. Think of how many Vietnamese civilians would’ve been spared death by napalm. But America didn’t listen.

The country would eventually come to see Vietnam as a mistake.

But ours is a people who are dismissive of men who lose presidential elections. We behave as though the electoral outcome discredited their ideas, even on matters where they’re ultimately proved right.

Indeed. Now take all the ideas above about Vietnam and war, and replace them with global warming. The analogy to Al Gore is equally, if not more powerful, and even more consequential.